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free at las

“Matthew Limon, the gay man at the center of a Kansas law struck down by the state Supreme Court, was freed late Thursday night, but his ordeal may not be over.
posted by halekon on Nov 4, 2005 - 67 comments

A job well done

Woman stoned to death for adultery ...... in Afghanistan.
posted by magullo on Apr 26, 2005 - 63 comments

Moral boon or immoral boondoggle?

A new Texas bill seeks to give pharmacists the right to object to dispensing emergency contraceptives. The bill was spurred by over a year's worth of debate about an incident in Denton where a rape victim was denied a morning-after pill by a pharmacist at Eckerd's. Supporters say that pharmacists should be able to opt out of dispensing drugs that are used for abortions, but the opposition points out that the bill's definition of emergency contraceptives can be construed to include all birth control. Should pharmacists be allowed to morally object, or is this an anti-birth-control boondoggle?
posted by rush on Apr 12, 2005 - 118 comments

New proposed Florida law

Don't pick up a ten dollar bill on the ground at Disney World You may be shot, legally, of course!
posted by lee on Apr 6, 2005 - 105 comments

sex and the law

Another reason to practice safe sex? Man meets woman. Man has oral sex with woman. Woman keeps the sperm, uses it to impregnate herself, then sues for child support. Man counter-sues for emotional distress and "sperm theft". Although the emotional distress claim is still active, the "sperm theft" claim was dismissed. On that point, the court decided: When plaintiff "delivered" his sperm, it was a gift -- an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee... There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request.
posted by halekon on Feb 26, 2005 - 87 comments

Yes Virginia, There are Christian ACLU Lawyers

A call for Christian lawyers who have worked for the ACLU. The ACLU tries to be balanced , but considering the amount of effort they have put forth to inhibit Christian influence from/to the government, should a Christian lawyer work for them?
posted by urlnotfound on Dec 27, 2004 - 65 comments

Canadian Lawyers Charge Bush with Torture

LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
posted by sunexplodes on Dec 1, 2004 - 66 comments

Breaking updates!

Updating this mefi story here where a set of extremely abusive parents who abused their children into their teens were sentenced to only 9 months prison. A judge now deems that sentence "demonstrably unfit" and resentences the mother and father to 5 and 4 years in jail, respectively. Thanks to t r a c y for the update.
posted by shepd on Nov 5, 2004 - 4 comments

Should a doctor be able to refuse to help patients?

Conscience Clauses and Health Care --"Yes, we need to respect individual freedom of religion. But at what point does it cross the line of not providing essential medical care? At what point is it malpractice?" she asked. "If someone's beliefs interfere with practicing their profession, perhaps they should do something else." The Protection of Conscience Project feels differently: Protection of Conscience Laws are needed because powerful interests are inclined to force health care workers and others to participate, directly or indirectly, in morally controversial procedures, while NARAL says: ... Many of these clauses go far beyond respecting individuals' beliefs to the point of harming women by not providing them with full information or access to medical treatment. Medicine, not ideology, should determine medical decisions.
posted by amberglow on Sep 17, 2004 - 69 comments

Just say no to Crack

Staking out the high moral ground, a bill would punish those wearing low-riding jeans. It seems that Representative Derrick D. T. Shepherd of Louisiana, a Democrat no less, wants to outlaw low slung pants. Plumbers beware, and stock up on Butt-Crack Caulk! Really, don't they have anything better to legislate besides fashion or holidays?
posted by Eekacat on Apr 23, 2004 - 45 comments

The war on pornography

John Ashcroft's Patriot Games. An interesting article from last month's Vanity Fair on Ashcroft and his revolution inside the Justice Department. Now the Justice Department wants to wage a war on porn, and "are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO's long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains." [Via Boing Boing and Instapundit.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 7, 2004 - 47 comments

Conservatives Win Big With Fetus Bill

Conservatives Win Big With Fetus Bill
posted by SpaceCadet on Mar 27, 2004 - 26 comments

Return of COINTELPRO?

Lost Liberties? Salon has an interesting two part series on the tensions between antiwar protesters and law enforcement. Part 1: "Outlawing dissent: Spying on peace meetings, cracking down on protesters, keeping secret files on innocent people -- how Bush's war on terror has become a war on freedom." Part 2: "A thousand J. Edgar Hoovers: State and local police are taking it upon themselves to investigate antiwar activists -- and in the computer age, the threat to our civil liberties is even greater than it was in Hoover's day." Does Protester = Criminal?
posted by homunculus on Feb 20, 2004 - 2 comments

Child Molestation?

Child Molestation? Marcus Dixon, an 18-year-old Black high school honor student was recently convicted of child molestation, has been permanently expelled from high school, and is now serving 15 years in the George state prison for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old White girl. Even though he was acquitted of all forcible rape charges, the child molestation charge still earned him the long sentence. Racism? Mandatory minimums strike again?
posted by Bluecoat93 on Jan 14, 2004 - 60 comments

malvo case ehxibits

Scribbling for jihad. Malvo case: defendant's trial exhibits.
posted by hama7 on Dec 12, 2003 - 16 comments

The Bottom Line: Manhattan court rules to evict club

The Bottom Line: Manhattan court rules to evict club. A New York City Greenwich Village landmark, The Bottom Line Cabaret, which has let the music play from such stars as Bruce Springsteen for close to 30 years, has been evicted after falling behind by nearly 3 years with is rent and not being able to work out a long-term with it's landlord: New York University (NYU).

This comes despite the cash contributions from celebrities like Springsteen and Viacom's CEO, last-minute corporate sponsorships from AT&T and others, and the efforts of fans around the world. Even the best efforts of fans at SaveTheBottomLine.com weren't able to save the club, which says it may consider shopping around for some new digs. But, as of now, The Bottom Line is homeless.
posted by nyukid on Dec 4, 2003 - 31 comments

What is this, Bizarro-World?

The War on Drugs hasn't been working at all well. So let's make it even less sensible: harsher penalties, invasion of privacy, all that jazz. The proposal is surreal, but fits in with the rest of US Drug Policy: rapists aren't denied federal funds for post-secondary schooling, but pot-heads are; you can spend more time in jail for dealing weed than for murder; gonna deal pot, ya might as well deal speed, it's the same jailtime. And now... let's encourage dealers to sell pot with more carcinogenic tars! [link goes to NORML, possibly NSFW, danger: encourages political activism]
posted by five fresh fish on Nov 26, 2003 - 16 comments

Man Rapes Infant Daughter

Man Pleads Guilty to Raping his own 2 month old Daughter
But wait, that's just the beginning. This guy's daddy heads the state Corrections Department and part of his plea is to reduce the amount of time he's going to spend in jail for this most heinous act.
This guy is facing, if the judge agrees to the plea, only 6 months in jail! The standard sentence for first-degree child rape is seven to 10 years in prison.
He's admitted to molesting a 9 year old in Maine before and has also been convicted of orchestrating an armed robbery.
How in the heck he's going to get ANY leniency is beyond me.
posted by fenriq on Oct 29, 2003 - 65 comments

Is the Pledge Unconstitutional

A follow up on the debate concerning the Constitutionality of the pledge of allegiance. Apparently the Supreme Court is going to hear it.
posted by sourbrew on Oct 14, 2003 - 26 comments

The war on pain relief

The war on drugs is unfairly targeting doctors who prescribe legal pain medication to their patients who suffer from chronic pain, according to a spokeswoman of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. She was speaking at a press conference of patient and physician advocacy groups, sponsored by the Pain Relief Network, in support of Dr. William Hurwitz. Dr. Hurwitz has been indicted and imprisoned for prescribing high doses of opioid pain relievers, as have other pain-management doctors. But these crackdowns may end up doing more harm than good to patients in chronic pain. [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 13, 2003 - 22 comments

Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday.

Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday. I know a lot of mefites are passionate about this issue and it looks like Senators Byron Dorgan (D–ND) and Trent Lott (R-MS) are doing something about it. More info, free faxes, etc at the ACLU. Read S.J. res 17 here.
posted by skallas on Sep 15, 2003 - 13 comments

Check out the new $200 bill.

Check out the new $200 bill.
posted by sierray on Sep 15, 2003 - 19 comments

Stop Prisoner Rape

Bush signs a bill into law that very few people will have anything bad to say about. Most of those who would oppose the new law can't vote, anyway, being members of predatory prison gangs, so I think we're pretty much good on this one.
posted by majcher on Sep 5, 2003 - 51 comments

BC Legalizes Gay Marriage

British Columbia joins Ontario as the second province in Canada to allow gay marriage. Not everyone is happy though.
posted by cyberbry on Jul 8, 2003 - 51 comments

The Exonerated

The Exonerated
Want to see some great theater and learn a bit about our great system of justice and capital punishment? Then The Exonerated may be the show for you.

The other night I went to see The Exonerated, which has been playing Off Broadway since last fall and is also appearing in theaters around the country this year. Composed wholly from court records and interviews by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, this documentary drama recounts true tales of horror from the American criminal-justice system. The actors sit downstage and read their parts as the stories of six innocent citizens condemned to death row unfold. If this sounds like a worthy endeavor, it is; if it sounds dull or didactic, it isn’t.
posted by nofundy on Jul 3, 2003 - 2 comments

How Dodgy Are You?

How Dodgy Are You? I'm in the clear. No years in prison and no fine. Safe and boring. Let's see the Mefi criminal element emerge shall we? [Imagary may now be work safe and the quiz is based on UK law ...]
posted by feelinglistless on Jun 10, 2003 - 49 comments

Antitrust Time?

The Big Ten Media Corporations and Clear Channel Communications control most of the major media already. This includes print media, film archives, movie and television production, and the largest Internet Service and News Provider. Right now is the argument is to prevent further consolidation. But should it instead be to break up these mega-corporations instead? Should anti-trust law cover horizontal as well as vertical market ( and employee) domination?
posted by kablam on Jun 3, 2003 - 12 comments

watch your a**, or where you put it.

New York man gets ticket for sitting on a milk crate. Not, of course, that i take the NY Daily News all that seriously, but still... This is beyond ridiculous (much like a lot of things taking place in New York these days). Makes me ill that I have to wait until 2006 to vote this ridiculous mayor out of office.
posted by cadence on May 20, 2003 - 22 comments

attorney general of NY investigates Verisign

This short bit of info from the lawyers who apparently are going to be investigating verisign for the New York Attorney General. many a person seems to have had issues with verisign. those in NY who have had problems with are encouraged to speak up.
posted by sixtwenty3dc on May 5, 2003 - 1 comment

Music Industry looses in court

Federal judge rules Morpheus, Grokster not liable for Internet piracy. Well that is until the big pocketed music industry finds a favorable judge and wins the appeal.
posted by thedailygrowl on Apr 25, 2003 - 3 comments

No more Scarlet Letter!

Is this your fetus? Are you the one I slept with? Remember when we discussed this before? Florida has now been forced by 4 plaintiffs and the ACLU to repeal the so-called Scarlet Letter law that forces women who are pregnant and giving children up for adoption to take out an ad local papers once a week for 4 weeks, stating her name and her sexual history in the last year, to let men know if they *might* be the father. Here is the ACLU legal brief. The details about the decision are in the first link. Thank god for the ACLU.
posted by aacheson on Apr 25, 2003 - 46 comments

Zoe and the DMCA

Rep. Zoe Lofgren's BALANCE act attempts to protect "Fair Use" rights from harmful legislation like the DMCA. Some related links: [summary] [whats wrong with the DMCA?]
posted by skallas on Mar 7, 2003 - 4 comments

Headless Maggie

Man Beheads (statue of) Margaret Thatcher. His "sense of 'satirical humour' left him no choice but to carry out the attack" on the £150,000 Maggie as 'artistic expression and [his] right to interact with this broken world.' Jury fails to convict and a retrial is scheduled. Perhaps there is a creative solution to replacing the head?
posted by Shane on Dec 18, 2002 - 17 comments

File a claim if you bought a CD!

Music CD Settlement website now available. You'll get between $5 and $20 back, unless more than 13MM people respond, in which case the $67MM pool goes to charity.
posted by milnak on Dec 14, 2002 - 15 comments

It seems likely

It seems likely that we'll be hearing a lot more about tort reform, especially medical malpractice tort reform, over the next couple years. Sadly, many don't even know exactly what a tort is, let alone how the tort system works, although most have heard about individual lawsuits through the media. Conservatives tend to focus on capping damages, reigning in juries, and allowing businesses to contract out of tort liability. Liberals generally oppose these proposals, and some have a few ideas about reform as well. Of course, we could always follow the example of New Zealand and scrap the tort system altogether. Maybe the Supreme Court will give the GOP some suggestions about reform in their latest tort case.
posted by boltman on Nov 7, 2002 - 32 comments

Can the current prohibition really be blamed on one guy? First he tells Congress that "marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind" and then World War 2 comes and farmers are encouraged to grow it. After the War, he turns around and tells Congress that it could be used by the Russians to make our men lazy and pacifistic. If he had kept his original argument, our men would be insane killers against the Russian army. What would the country be like if there never was a HARRY J. ANSLINGER ?
posted by Degaz on Oct 14, 2002 - 27 comments

A bill is currently being pushed through Congress that will give health care providers, including those that are federally funded, the right to refuse to perform abortions or administer contraceptive medication for personal moral reasons. Next week: firefighters allowed to let houses burn down because they hate the color of the curtains.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 25, 2002 - 72 comments

This week, two boys in Florida were tried for the bludgeoning-murder of their father. With accusations raised of the actual killing to have been done by another, adult male with alleged sexual ties to the two boys, the boys were found guilty only of a lesser second-degree murder charge, claiming the adult must have done the actual deed... yet the jury was unaware the adult accused and being tried for that very idea was acquitted of all charges the previous week. The issue? Both trials were handled by the same prosecutor who presented completely different theories to each jury... in other words, not settling on a confident belief of who actually performed the killing, the prosecution tried to get both the adult and the pair of boys convicted for it. Isn't that risky? Or, if you like a different flavor of debate, isn't that completely unethical?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 7, 2002 - 40 comments

An All-American Fugitive

An All-American Fugitive When Margo Freshwater escaped from prison 32 years ago, she began a happy and law-abiding life, becoming a devoted mother, grandmother and wife. Now she's back behind bars . . . And unless she's given a new trial or is granted clemency . . . she will remain behind bars until she is an old woman . . . Meanwhile, the man who confessed to the killing probably will die a free man.
posted by mikrophon on Aug 22, 2002 - 5 comments

This new RIAA lawsuit

This new RIAA lawsuit really frosts my cookies! I can't believe the Recording Industry Ass. of America has the balls to think they can censor the Internet, but they contend that "As a matter of fact, copyright itself was written into the Constitution before the Framers ever even got to the first 10 amendments." Therefore, the RIAA reserves for itself the right to determine which Internet websites you may view. Please discuss.
posted by Maxor on Aug 17, 2002 - 71 comments

Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts

Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts Web sites can't collect info on minors, but Florida wants all women, including minors, to publish their sexual history in local newspapers before they're allowed to give their child up for adoption. Abortions are difficult to get in Florida, almost impossible for some minors because of parental notification and permission requirements, yet wouldn't this law push more women towards abortion rather than towards adoption?
posted by dejah420 on Aug 7, 2002 - 83 comments

Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law.

Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law. The raid was perhaps the state's first known instance of law enforcement officers using new anti-terrorism police powers in a case unrelated to terrorism... Ahh, yes. The War On Drugs meets The War Against Terror.
posted by fnord_prefect on Aug 5, 2002 - 13 comments

The catch-22 of prison therapy.

The catch-22 of prison therapy. The biggest criticism of sex offender justice is that imprisonment does not mean rehabilitation. In Massachusetts because of stringent anti-sex offender laws, lawyers are advising their clients to turn down prison therapy because it will be used against them. Even used against them after they're done with their sentence. These are serious violations of double jeopardy and doctor patient privilege.
posted by skallas on Jul 28, 2002 - 9 comments

House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections

House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections "But the Senate, which likely takes up the matter next week, so far has pursued a much different course. On Thursday, the Democratic-led Senate Governmental Affairs Committee crafted legislation that would protect all current civil service protections and make it more difficult for the president to move workers out of unions. Bush and other Republicans said the measure would give the president less authority than he has now."

The House seems to be so much more conservative and extremist than the Senate. Heck they're still working on trying to ban selected types of abortion procedures even when there's a strong chance it won't pass constitutional muster and the Senate isn't likely to support them.

Is it your perception that the House is more conservative? If so, why do you think that's true?
posted by Red58 on Jul 26, 2002 - 19 comments

"It's not just that you have no right to a lawyer, it's that you have no right to even have a hearing," he said. "If that is true, then there is really no limit to the President's power to label U.S. citizens as bad people and then have them held in military custody indefinitely." Okay, someone please tell me that's not as scary as it sounds.
posted by donkeyschlong on Jun 20, 2002 - 37 comments

Atomic blast licence plates

Atomic blast licence plates are rejected by state.
"Any reference on a license plate to weapons of mass destruction is inappropriate and would likely offend our citizens."
posted by Mwongozi on Jun 7, 2002 - 12 comments

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I. (NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today. Here's the Wash. Post's take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb on May 30, 2002 - 21 comments

Good news!

Good news! It's ok to "steal" golf balls again.
posted by kingmissile on May 21, 2002 - 12 comments

Controversial new bill

Controversial new bill to lay out reproductive technology guidelines. Canadian version of this battle doesn't seem to feature as many religious wackos. It's just not as fun without them.
posted by Leonard on May 9, 2002 - 0 comments

In a major policy reversal, the Justice Department has officially endorsed an individual right to bear arms. In doing so, the Justice Department has abandoned its long-held position that the second amendment is limited in scope to protecting militia activities. Does this mean the Justice Department will stop enforcing federal laws that it sees as violating the 2nd amendemnt? Should it? If there is a individual right to bear arms, how far should it extend?
posted by boltman on May 8, 2002 - 65 comments

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